MAIZE, Kan. For the first time, Maize High School is hosting a stop of Bob Chipman’s College Stars Basketball Camps, the annual summer tour that’s a favorite for local families.
Washburn Coach Bob Chipman organizes multiple stops for players from KU, K-State, and Wichita State to come help area high school coaches run basketball camps for kids.
Today was the first day of the two-day camps, as the tour made stops at Maize and Wichita Collegiate High School. From 9:00am to noon, boys ages 6-9 and all girls were at the camp, and the afternoon sessions from 1:00-4:00 host boys ages 10 and up.
Collegiate hosted Jayhawk guard Devonte Graham and Wichita State guard Conner Frankamp this morning, while Maize welcomed KU’s Frank Mason III and Dwight Coleby, along with Kansas State big man Dean Wade.
Along with them, the camps are assisted by the host High School’s coaches and players. They help lead kids through fundamental drills, teaching them everything from dribbling to passing to what it takes to play on a team.
Dean Wade, who played at St. John High School, can certainly relate to these younger athletes as a kid from Kansas who loves basketball.
For Wade, helping out the camps was an easy decision.
“[Coach Chipman] asked me if I wanted to work a camp, and I jumped on the opportunity…Just to give back to the people that come to our games and for the joy of what we do, it’s always fun.”
Not to mention, Wade’s 6-foot 10-inch frame and personality makes him a gentle giant among the young kids.
“When we were with the younger kids over there, that was fun …they were everywhere, bouncing off the walls … that was my favorite part,” he said.
Having Division 1 athletes come to teach basketball makes a world of difference at the camps, helping attract the youth and keep them engaged. It’s an annual stop that never fails to bring excitement and joy. After the drills, the big-time athletes demonstrate drills they do to get better and sign autographs.
Oh, and they throw down a few sweet slams to their young and amazed audience.
Fun defines the camp from start to finish. Drills, lessons, and celebrities, what more could you want? Throw in a couple Kansan hometown heroes like Dean Wade and Conner Frankamp, and it’s the whole package.
Maize men’s basketball coach Chris Grill was ecstatic about the amount of kids who made it out. “We had a great turnout, there were over 110 kids. This is our first year doing it here, and I think it’ll be even bigger next year.”
Frankamp agrees that the excitement around the camp and the kids in attendance make it a worthwhile experience. "It's really fun. Kids enjoy us being around and we enjoy being able to help them."
Maize and Collegiate have one more day of the camp, and Goddard and Andover Central High School will host next on June 2nd and 3rd. For more information, visit collegestarsbasketballcamps.com.